Bach E Major No. 2 For High School String Orchestra? Possible?
So I've been the concertmaster of my school orchestra since Freshman year, and as a token of appreciation, My teacher would like to recognize my efforts in All-county, All-state and overall leadership at school, with a violin concerto.
Keep in mind this is a highschool orchestra, very average. 15 violins, 5 violas, 7 cellos, 1 Bass.
Would bach E major no.2 be a stretch with intonation?
As the former bassist of a high school wind ensemble and jazz band, I can safely say that pretty much everything is out of reach. I don't think there was anything we could play... If you could play a three octave scale, you were miles ahead of the curve. Dunno about your orchestra, but if it's like my bands were, you have my condolences.
If they normally play out of tune, they're going to be out of tune on the accompaniment for this. It's frankly easier for a bad high school orchestra to accompany Bruch or Mendelssohn or the like, than to accompany Bach or Mozart or Haydn (or Paganini).
Depends on the orchestra, doesn't it? I conducted a HS orchestra for a year that had very advanced players. And it depends on whether or not they practice, and how many have private teachers. The range here is big.
You want to show off to the world with Bach? Get outta here Hilary Hahn!
I disagree entirely with Tom. The experience of playing a concerto with orchestra is very rare and very valuable, and you should take it. You'll learn a huge amount from the experience. Nobody with an iota of experience or sense would encourage you to give it up. Also, it's gold on your musical resume.
I think the Bach is actually harder than a lot of other things. I would pick something with much more straightforward string parts. My son just suggested 4 Seasons -- not all of it, but some of the movements have very straightforward simple accompaniment. If you can add a few winds, something like Zigeunerweisen isn't too hard to put together.
hey Tom Supakorndej, Shut up, Kindly.
Lydia, your insight is consistently meaningful. thanks.
Susan's thought is a good one. My public high school orchestra (not all that good) did Vivaldi's "Spring" with our concertmaster one year. It's straightforward enough for everyone.
It does seem like you'll be playing with your HIGH SCHOOL orchestra, right? "15 violins, 5 violas, 7 cellos, 1 Bass" And you'll be choosing a piece that they can handle, right?
Oh for pete's sake. Nothing in the OP or in any of his subsequent posts has resembled gloating. It seems to me he's being offered an appropriate spotlight after being a strong support for his high school program for four years. His original query was about choosing a piece that would work with his particular orchestra, not about choosing the biggest possible show-off piece. I have no idea why this has elicited such an effort to tear down someone who is coming across as a hard worker and a good kid.
Whenever I hear someone brag that they finished all on the A string I'm sorry to say my first reaction is to wonder whether they were playing Seitz concerto no. 5 or no. 2.
Bach is fine. Might the A minor be easier for the ensemble? Mozart 3 is also pretty easy for orchestra but longer. You coukd do first movement. If you bring off a nice cadenza nobody will remember the orch was not perfect.
+1 to Mary Ellen.
So we are a string orchestra, and due to the fact she has also selected simple symphony, It will most likely be the first movement of a concerto. The brilliance of the E Major certainly is much nicer than the A minor. We won't be able to borrow band players, unfortunately.
I have played the E Major with orchestra, although it was a professional pick-up orchestra. Your high school orchestra would probably do about a C+ version, and I agree that intonation issues could be disorienting for you.
I think the E-Major concerto may work. But you are right that E-Major is a tricky key. And Bach goes will beyond into even more tricky territory. In that regard the a-minor concerto is definitely easier.
The E major is a good choice. Go for it.
The E Major will contrast better against Simple Symphony in my opinion.